The "wheels are in motion" for a sale of at least part of Merrill Lynch's
stake in BlackRock
. CNBC's Charles Gasparino reported Wednesday afternoon that the talks between the two financial services giants are now underway with the negotiators hoping to wrap up the talks by the end of the week. Still, the talks could break down at any time, according to the report.
Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain
would reportedly like to announce a deal, if there is one, as a part of Mother Merrill's earnings report on July 17.
Gasparino reported that sources inside Blackrock told him that they believe Thain will sell only a piece of the BlackRock stake and that they expect to retain their relationship as the money manager for Merrill Lynch's pension funds and subadvisor to its mutual funds.
The report added that Thain would prefer not to sell any of the BlackRock stake. If Thain is successful in negotiating a sale of Merrill's stake in Bloomberg for the right price, he may not need to.
Merrill is seeking to raise capital to offset roughly $6 billion in mortgage security related write-downs it is expected to make for the second quarter.
The wirehouse's stake in BlackRock is worth more than $10.79 billion based on BlackRock's current market cap.
Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief
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